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Men’s Tennis

Squad splits ACC road contests in Florida trip

| Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Notre Dame spent the weekend down in Florida playing conference-rivals Florida State on Friday, and Miami on Sunday.

The Irish (12-9, 3-5 ACC) defeated Florida State 4-2 before losing to Miami 4-3.

Against Florida State (14-8, 4-4), sophomore Grayson Broadus won in straight sets 7-5, 7-5 to clinch the win. Sophomore Alex Lebedev also won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, while senior Josh Hagar came out on top in his match 6-2, 6-3. Senior Eddy Covalschi narrowly lost his match 7-6(0), 6-4, while freshman Matt Gamble dropped his match 6-3, 6-3.

Sophomore Alex Lebedev prepares a backhand during Notre Dame’s 4-1 victory over Northwestern on Feb. 24 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Michelle Mehelas | The Observer

Sophomore Alex Lebedev prepares a backhand during Notre Dame’s 4-1 victory over Northwestern on Feb. 24 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he was impressed with the play of two of the sophomores on the team.

“Both matches were super close, like they all are in our conference,” Sachire said. “I think some positives were two of our sophomores, Grayson Broadus and Alex Lebedev; both got back on the right track. Both had been on a bit of a losing streak coming into the weekend, and both of them got wins in both of their matches, so that’s something they can certainly build on and gain confidence from as the season continues on. So that certainly was a positive.”

In the doubles competition, the No. 1 pair of Covalschi/Hagar won 7-5, while the No. 2 pair of Gamble/Lebedev also won by a 7-5 score. The No. 3 pair of junior Brendan Kempin/Broadus dropped their match 6-1.

Against the Hurricanes (8-9, 2-6) on Sunday, Broadus lost the first set of his match 6-0, before coming back to win the final two sets 6-4, 6-4. Cabrera (6-4, 6-2) and Lebedev (6-3, 6-3) both won their matches in straight sets. Covalschi won the first set of his match 6-3 before dropping the final two sets 6-2, 6-4. Hagar lost the first set of his match 6-4, before bouncing back to win the second set 6-4. Hagar came up short in the third set 6-1. Gamble dropped his match 6-1, 6-4.

In the doubles competition, the match featuring the No. 2 pair of Gamble/Lebedev was discontinued as the No. 1 pair of Covalschi/Hagar and the No. 3 pair of Kempin/Broadus both lost by 6-3 scores.

Sachire said his team will work on improving how they perform at the beginning of matches.

“The way we started matches was not where we needed to be as a group,” Sachire said. “Being really confident in what we do and how we want to start matches. We got off to some slow starts in a lot of our matches over the weekend, so if you play against good players and good teams, it’s not always easy to be in the comeback role. So just making sure every guy knows how they want to start matches and what he wants to do early on, and to do it with confidence and conviction.”

The Irish will be back in action this weekend when they travel to North Carolina to face-off against conference-rivals Duke on Friday and North Carolina on Sunday, and Sachire said his team will spend time this week resting to re-energize for their weekend on the road.

“We’ve played a lot at this stage of the season,” Sachire said. “A lot of the guys are in a good rhythm as far as hitting the ball. It’s more about recovery this week and being fresh as much as we can. We’ll travel down and practice at Duke on Thursday, so we’re probably looking at one day of good practice here on Wednesday. I think it’s just going over specifics and going over situational tennis and what are some of the patterns each guy wants to run in the biggest moments and make sure they’re locked in on the basics of how they want to play, and if there’s anything from a technical perspective that we want to tweak or help a guy work on, we can do that. We’re going to be really specific in our practices and then we’ll be back on the road on Thursday.”

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